I've finally found something that tops arena II football. It's the Krystal Square Off complete with "bunnettes" (the girls who stand behind the competitors with flip charts showing how many Krystals each contestant has consumed), a professional announcer (who evidently shows up at most eating contests), and contestants with names like Hall "Hoover" Hunt and Rich “”The Locust”” LeFevre.
We arrived shortly before the amateur contest began with just enough time to play with the sumo wrestling outfits. The amateur contest consisted of several partners who raced to see which pair could both eat a sackful of Krystals first. The team that won was a husband and wife with their young child standing between them as they stuffed their faces. The wife actually finished her bag first. The announcer, who was tanned and wearing a suit and hat, said that these competitors were serving their country with each bite that they ate. He practically said that they were patriots, and I wanted to lead the crowd in singing that Lee Greenwood song that goes "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died (or ate the most Krystals as the case may be) to give that right to me."
A bit later the announcer introduced the professional eaters. Listening to their resumes was fantastic, although my friends and I seemd to be the only ones in the crowd finding humor. One contestant is a vegetarian who evidently gave up his convictions to participate in this event, although I guess arguably the slim grey stuff in Krystals isn't meat. Another is a record holder in eating date nut bread and fried asparagus. One crossed "disciplines" (he usually eats sweets) to participate in the event. Needless to say it was a fine display of American heroes, or at least that's what the announcer implied. Many of the 10,000 crowd members agreed. The announcer called the contestants "warriors" and compared one's bowels to a serpent. In short, it was hilarious.
The winner, Joey "Jaws" Chesnut, ate 93 Krystals in 8 minutes. I think he was the one who dipped his Krystals in Kool-Aid prior to consumption, but it was sort of hard to see (we didn't arrive early to snag good seats). All of the contestants seemed to dip the burgers in water before shoveling them in their mouth. And what's really gross is that people were vying to get the left-over Krystals that the competitors didn't eat, which surely had sweat, salivia, and water all over them.
Needless to say I'm applying to be a bunnette next year.
p.s. I'm grateful for silliness and random events like this that make me smile all day long.